“End Time”

By Thor

New York’s Brutal Truth is a primary source for American grindcore.  They are grindfathers, if you will, having bashed out spastic and unfiltered angst-on-overdrive since 1990.  Their simian-primitive brand of grind has always been chaotic and challenging, purposefully crossing the line of what constitutes tight playing in the traditional sense, lending their music an off balance, Cro-Magnon aesthetic.  It’s never been the type of thing I could just pop in and listen to, no matter the circumstances.  It requires a specific mindset, which itself requires the proper context in which to occur. 

Sometimes, the musician in me repels from the dissonant droning and the fluctuating tempos and I have to put away Brutal Truth.  Other times, my mind focuses on the whole, and allows rational analyses to be buried beneath layers of noise, unified by cathartic expressions of anger and opinions, concepts and conditions.  It’s never easy, but it’s always awesome.

Brutal Truth’s latest offering entitled “End Time” is in this mold – challenging, primitive, and chaotic, but refined in a way that comes from years of perfecting the form.  “End Time” features 23 tracks of quintessential Brutal Truth, delivered in an evolved fashion, well-performed, and well-produced, but still ultra-organic and topsy-turvy.  Tracks such as “Small Talk” and “Old World Order” are brutal explosions of punk-inspired aggression, while there are avant garde abstractions such as “.58 Caliber” and “Control Room”, as well as several led-heavy groove dirges.

There are stretches of “End Time” that get a bit monotonous as is typical of most Brutal Truth albums.  That’s where the aforementioned “specific mindset” comes into play.  However, the strengths of this album are herculean, while the stretches of relative dullness seem few and far between.  Songs such as “Crawling Man Blues” and “Gut Check” stand out among a catalog that’s as consistently high-energy and interesting as anything in the Brutal Truth canon.

Brutal Truth deserves respect for steadfastly adhering to their unique take on their respective art form.  The way they do what they do is not only one-of-a-kind, but it’s also brilliant.  “End Time” bears this out.  Your mom probably isn’t going to buy a painting by some gutter-cubist, depicting an abstract, angry uprising, and composed in shit, piss, puke, and blood – but I might.  Because, like Brutal Truth, it’s certainly not for everybody, but there’s no denying the artistic genius therein.